Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Bizarre Thought Process of a Skilled Procrastinator

It's OK if you tell me that I'm crazy after you read this.

It's also OK if you tell me that you can totally relate, we're not judgy here at Home Again Jog.

At any given time I have stuff to do that falls into four categories:

  1. Daily routine stuff like laundry, cleaning, dishes etc... These are both necessary and productive and I really hate doing them.
  2. Things that I need to do and want to do, like my classwork... This is also a productive use of my time.
  3. Things that are fun to do that I don't actually need to do like the various craft projects... These are not an unproductive use of my time but they aren't technically my first priority.
  4. One - time things that I really hate to do but I have to do because they're holding something up, like painting woodwork or mudding drywall... These are the worst because they're usually messy, boring, or fiddly or a combination of the three.

Now, a "normal" person (I have never actually met a normal person but I assume they're out there) would look at those categories and say something like "I'll get my housework done, then I'll paint some woodwork. After that I'll do a craft and tonight I'll do some schoolwork after the kids are in bed." or something like that.

But I am far from normal.

My mind says this: "YOU MUST DO YOUR HOUSEWORK BEFORE YOU START ANYTHING ELSE!!!" I don't know why, but it does. Weird right?

But I really hate housework. The reasons for this are straightforward: 1. it is never done (at least in this house) and 2. the "construction zone" themed decor never gives me a sense of satisfaction when I'm done... actually it makes it really difficult to tell when I'm done. I mean, have you ever tried to determine when a sub-floor in a kitchen is clean? It's not easy. I never get to look around and say "my what a pretty room :-)" because partially mudded drywall is never pretty. Yeah waa waa, poor me.

So this is what happens:

  • My mind says that I have to do housework before anything else, HOWEVER,
  • I hate housework. I feel like I need to get behind myself and shove myself off the couch to do it. SO
  • Since I have to do housework first, but I really don't want to do housework do you know what I do? (if you said "something from categories 2, 3, or 4,?" you would be absolutely wrong.)
I am here, on my laptop, on the internet. Hello! I'm here! :-)
or now that we have cable (hooray. Yes, read that as sarcasm) I might be watching a Criminal Minds rerun, or locking my door thereafter.

Ironically, doing anything, even fun craft-type projects would be a better use of my time than checking Facebook again, for the millionth time. But I actually have to remind myself of this and I have to have the thought occur to me before I can even do that.

Yeah, it's weird. Thus the title of the post.

In light of this revelation brought to me by the wonders of metacognition*, I think I'm going to clean the living room enough so I can take some pictures in it without causing you to run screaming from your screen, and make Lu's bulletin board that I blogged about yesterday. I might even get to posting those pictures today (don't hold your breath though). OK,  for the record I have done some laundry today because my son asked me to do some (I'll take special requests for housework under threat of impending nudity.)

Do any of you have weird procrastination thought processes? Have you ever thought about it before? Hmmm....

I might see you later today,

*Metacognition is thinking about how you think. It's your $50.00 word for the day ;-)


  1. Oh, we're all thinking about this stuff, aren't we? I've been knee deep in response inhibition lately. My *own* as well as Cal's. We have a lot to learn from each other.

    1. I am embarrassed to admit that I had to look up "response inhibition" but yep, I'm knee-deep in it too. I'd love to hear your strategies for overcoming it.

      Did I mention that I'm exceptional at excuses too? Right now I'm blaming the weather, it's too hot.

  2. You are speakin' my language! I'm procrastinating right now. Blog-surfing when I need to be in the garage trying to save a DIY project gone horribly wrong. Or, uh, doing housework : )

    1. Uh-oh your very own disaster DIY! Boy howdy am I familiar with those! I had one the other week that I'll be sharing once I figure out how to salvage it. Whatever did you do?

  3. Oh so you're another one of the Facebook people that creeps all. the. time. and never posts. GAH! I should have known. You should start writing/collecting status updates on procrastination and keep the rest of us amused. At least it would be productive. Or maybe I should start leaving a few of my own for you... lol

    When I can't get off the computer, it's generally because I'm exhausted or not feeling well and haven't realized it. (My lovely brain issues.) That's when I decided that reading blogs on topics I'm interested in really is research - because I have learned a ton on days like that. Then I give my self a pass to rest awhile and then get moving. It helped me A LOT!

    It's allllll about perspective. :)

    1. I don't know, I post... pretty often.

      I'm procrastinating on your project too. Since I haven't heard from you I'm guessing that you are too ;-)

      I really don't have a good excuse for my inactivity, Oh wait, it's hot. I knew I had one ;-p

    2. Waiting on ME? I thought I gave you a list with enough to keep you busy for a week! Silly me. I'm gonna run and pick up my photos from the fashion show tomorrow. I'll sort through all 500 of them and get you the best, hopefully by tomorrow afternoon.

      In the meantime, I'm hoping my headache decides to leave by then so "I" can be productive again! gah!

    3. And here I thought I was deftly shifting focus (hee hee)

  4. HA! This post made me laugh... glad I am not the only one out there with this same thought process! :)

    1. No no, you are far from the only one. We should start a support group... someday. (har har har)

  5. I've never met one of these normal type people either. However, wouldn't that mean the procrastinators of the world are the normal people? ;) My strategy for dealing with housework I don't want to do is to only do what bugs me. After I find myself checking facebook or twitter for the nth time I get up and walk through the house. I may pick up laundry and put it in the hamper when I see it, or I may grab dishes to put in the sink. Whatever pops out as I go by is what i tackle. I allow myself procrastination breaks between tasks. Then just do the next thing that bugs me.

    1. Excellent point! Although I think that there must be a lot of non-procrastinators because things seem to get done in the world ;-)

      I like your idea about doing the thing that bugs you and procrastination breaks are a great idea. Scheduling your procrastination, whoda thunk it?

  6. I can totally realate to this! I am doing about the same thing, and a lot of metacognition too, wich you think should help...

    I have wasted my vacation procrastinating actually. Tell us if you ever find a way to get over this! :-)

    Love Maria

    1. I find that I can analyze my thinking about something, figure out the problem and never actually make any progress on changing things. It's a gift really.

      On another note, I don't see how you can waste a vacation procrastinating. Aren't vacations designed to procrastinate?


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